Step into Scotland with immersive AR app The app opens a ‘portal’ that allows users to step into a series of immersive AR experiences. (Scotland Is Now/Gary Campbell-Hall/Flickr)
Step into Scotland with immersive AR app
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Have you’ve ever dreamed of stepping into a wardrobe and finding yourself transported Narnia-style? If so, you’re in luck.

There is a new augmented reality app. Users first scan the floor with their device. They  must position the portal in an area free of any mess. Then they can then walk directly into an immersive 360-degree experience.

Portal AR is a new app. It is available now. It is from the Apple App and Google Play Stores. It is the first travel tool of its kind. Users can step into Scotland. 

There is a lot to see in Scotland. One place is Edinburgh Castle. It is the former home of doomed ruler Mary, Queen of Scots. Scotland also has the shadow of Arthur’s Seat. It is an ancient volcano. Today it is better known as one of the country’s top hiking spots. One town in Scotland is St. Andrews. This was birthplace of golf. It also houses the university where Britain’s future king and queen first met.

The app was launched as part of the country’s “Scotland Is Now” campaign. That's according to “The Scotsman’s” Alison Campsie.

It was designed along with Google. VisitScotland worked on the design. The Scottish Government worked on the design. The Scottish Enterprise worked on the design. The Universities Scotland also worked on the design. Its immersive features are meant to aid travelers planning trips to Scotland.

The app offers a range of VR experiences. It includes a paramotoring tour of Ben Nevis. It is Great Britain’s highest peak. It also includes a visit to Glasgow’s Kelingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

Users can virtually interact with the country’s landscape and history. Portal AR looks at the way Scots live. It looks at how they work. It looks at how they invest. And it looks at how they study. 

Voiceovers from locals complement video footage of subjects. These include a satellite-building facility in Glasgow. Also included is a fashion class. It is at the Heriot-Watt School of Textiles and Design. You can also make leisurely strolls along the Scottish shores.

Portal AR isn’t Scotland’s first trip into groundbreaking mobile technology. Back in 1999, communications company Orange helped the Edinburgh Fringe Festival launch one of the world’s first mobile apps. It was a guide to the annual arts show.

The festival featured 53,232 performances of 3,398 shows in 2017. It is another one of the distinctive Scottish experiences highlighted by the new app.

The “Scotland Is Now” tourism campaign launched in April. It cost $8 million. “The Scotsman’s” Brian Ferguson said the central message is one of inclusivity. It touts the country as “one of the most open” in the world. This idea underlies the new AR experience. It will be continually updated as new content is developed.

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